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Top Chef Season 5


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One thing that irked me is that they never explained why Kathie Lee spit out Jeff's dish.  If it was just bad that day or if she just wasn't used to the flavors in the dish.

She spit it out because she is an ditz. She could've done it with a bit more subtlety, but that is not her style.

Yeah, as mentioned above, I find it a little odd that there would be such a gulf between the three judges finding it one of the best three items prepared and it being so unpalatable to everyone else that it had to be spat out. Completely classless.

Totally, unimaginably classless. Especially when you consider that this is may have been the highlight of an aspiring young chef's career. . . and she chooses to SPIT OUT his carefully prepared offering on national television.

If she didn't like it, she didn't like it. Yes, she could have been more subtle and less dramatic about it but we all know by now that top chef loves the drama edit. I don't consider my palate unsophisticated or inexperienced but that doesn't mean I'll like everything the top chef judges like. The judges put the one chef in the bottom 3 because the habanero was too much for them. I love habanero in all it's fruity, face melting goodness so maybe I would have a different opinion of her dish. If one of the chefs sneaked me a bite of liver it would leave my mouth. Maybe not in the big drama manner that we got to see but I would get rid of it, aspiring chef's career highlight or not.

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I am in complete agreement about Kathy Lee being a classless twit/idiot/clueless/dumbass/why-is-she-still-around reject. Nothing that was served to them warranted that behavior. Absolutely nothing. It was all about her moment to be in the spotlight (she made it all about her and not about the food) and it would appear that she doesn't care how she looks while she's in that spotlight. :angry:

I was surprised to learn in this ep that Colicchio cannot eat hot/spicy food. Bummer. Maybe that's one way of keeping his palate fully functional?

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I am in complete agreement about Kathy Lee being a classless twit/idiot/clueless/dumbass/why-is-she-still-around reject.

That's a lot of strong emotion to be carrying around over someone you probably don't know a thing about outside of what you see on tv/hear from other people but, even if it's all true, that still doesn't mean she has to like something just because Tom/Padma/Gail like it. The drama is irrelevant. If she wasn't able/willing to control it herself the producers had the option to edit it out. They chose not to, and always will. They want the drama because a large segment of their viewers want it.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I am in complete agreement about Kathy Lee being a classless twit/idiot/clueless/dumbass/why-is-she-still-around reject.

That's a lot of strong emotion to be carrying around over someone you probably don't know a thing about outside of what you see on tv/hear from other people but, even if it's all true, that still doesn't mean she has to like something just because Tom/Padma/Gail like it. The drama is irrelevant. If she wasn't able/willing to control it herself the producers had the option to edit it out. They chose not to, and always will. They want the drama because a large segment of their viewers want it.

You're right. That was pretty mean of me to write. I just spat it out all of a sudden like... like I couldn't swallow it! :shock: My apologies to the Kathy Lee Gifford fans.

But seriously, there was nothing on those plates that warranted that response. Perhaps people with food issues should not be put in the position of judging?

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I can't believe I'm seeing a defense of Kathie Lee Gifford on eGullet.

Not liking something and spitting something out like a spoiled child are two different things entirely. I even thought Padma spitting out the lemon meringue dessert was complete melodrama.

But really. Nothing could've been that bad to warrant spitting it into the trash on live TV. It wasn't like she unknowlingly pulled a three-month-old carton of milk out of the fridge and titled it back, or accidentally took a hearty swig from a beer bottle full of cigarette butts at a high school party ...

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You're not seeing a defense of the person, I don't know her, you're seeing a defense of her right to not like something even if the top chef judges did. I agreed that the reaction was over the top but it wasn't out of line with a few other top chef drama moments.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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You're not seeing a defense of the person, I don't know her, you're seeing a defense of her right to not like something even if the top chef judges did. I agreed that the reaction was over the top but it wasn't out of line with a few other top chef drama moments.

But this was live on the Today Show; certainly a different standard.

Okay everyone, who is out tonight?

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I agree with you rconnelly. Kathy Lee was just wrong to act that way on national TV. I can't believe that there was anything that offensive for her to spit it out as she did. Poor etiquette for anyone, much less someone in her position.

For tonight, well gee I don't know half the contestants at this point since they don't have time to show them all.

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First off...........anyone else think it was LAME that they allowed salt and pepper to be identified in the list of ingredients in the Quick Fire. I mean, come on, those are "gimmes", what sauce doesn't contain salt and pepper. They should have been disallowed.

That said, the balance of the Quick Fire was excellent, as was the Elimination. And I am SO glad Beard Boy is gone. He was really getting on my last nerve. Anyone that spends that much time sculpting his facial hair is not serious about cooking. Or much of anything else but his ego.

I am stunned that Ariane (sp??) has started to shine. Maybe she really does have some talent and was just undone by nerves initially.

Also good to see Stefan fall on his, errrrr, rump.

ETA-----oh, and the "new"......HELLO......I was screaming at the TV, how about foams? How about sous vide? How about molecular gastronomy techniques? That's NEW. Sushi, deconstructed sushi, BAD deconstructed sushi, ahhh, not so much.

Edited by Pierogi (log)

--Roberta--

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I am stunned that Ariane (sp??) has started to shine.  Maybe she really does have some talent and was just undone by nerves initially.

She cooked the lamb - and almost messed that up! Jamie came up with the menu. Radhika made the marinade and the sauce. So now we know Ariane can cook turkey and lamb. Big whoop. The judges were so happy to have properly cooked lamb that she won? No, they loved the flavors. She had little to do with that and she knew it.

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I totally agree Jaime was robbed.

I loved the Quickfire but was also disappointed they were allowed to name salt and pepper since they're "duh" ingredients.

Even if the ingredients were cooked properly I would not have liked the "roll your own sushi".

Daniel said he would still be there if he threw someone under the bus. Who would he throw? He's the one who put the bad mushrooms under the salad and defended all the dishes. Gene admitted his mistakes. Carla had regrests.

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The folks at Whole Foods must be annoyed that the editors left that comment in by Gail about Sea Bass not being very politically correct, as they advertise theirs as sustainable and have a little book all about it.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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Quickfire: no one named water!

The sushi dish was uglier to look at than Hung's Smurf Village. At least that would've had some blue in it, for the other team.

Huit-la-coche is the bluest thing that I could come up with, but using an ocean theme was a good idea, just boringly executed.

I'm glad the episode went 75 minutes last night; I've been saying it needs to go longer, especially in the beginning. I didn't even notice until I flipped the Daily Show on and it was in the middle of it.

As an aside, Tom C is in Atlanta right now, opening up Craft and Craftbar. He was doing radio interviews this morning.

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Oh, come on. Daniel was so oblivious, so lacking in self-consciousness, I found him highly entertaining to watch. I loved the rooftop scene where he's just vacantly smiling and lifting weights the whole time. Hah! "Bababoooey!"

Jamie may be talented, but damn. What an annoying personality; always looked over, poooooor Jamie. "Everyone thought I was the winner." Suuuure they did. And I'm certain she went around asking the rest: "You thought I was the winner, right?"

I predict her exit soon.

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I totally agree Jaime was robbed.

I loved the Quickfire but was also disappointed they were allowed to name salt and pepper since they're "duh" ingredients.

They're legit ingredients. It's a game of skill, so the chef most skilled at accurately predicting how many ingredients they could name won. All you have to do if you're sure of other ingredients is to add 2 to your total...this challenge actually showed some ability to think and use one's brains.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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It almost seems to me like the judges are avoiding the oft-criticized habit of just eliminating team leaders if there's a disastrous outcome. That's twice now where they grilled the hell out of the leader (Gene in this ep and Jeff a few weeks back on the Foo Fighters) but then rooted out the one most responsible for the bad dishes and axed that one instead. Maybe it'll change on Restaurant Wars but I'm glad to see Gene around for a little longer at least over the buffoon.

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I am beginning to love Stefan. He is capable and and entertaining. He will call a douch-boy a douch-boy. Hosea...a douch-boy. Jamie keeps doing the same sort of thing. She will be spoken to sternly soon. Ariane is an annoying ass and will soon actually have to design a dish on her own.... she's toast. Jeff is inconsistent and will screw-up. Radika ...boring...the anti-Fabio. Leah... probably a nitwit. Gene...better than he's looked lately, I think.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Ariane is an annoying ass and will soon actually have to design a dish on her own.... she's toast. 

Didn't she design the tomato/watermelon/feta salad that won? And I know it's not a totally original dish, but it won. I don't think she'll win the contest overall, but her philosophy of preparing simple ingredients well is a smart one. And her insistence that the lamb be cooked for 2 more minutes, over the objections of her teammates, was a smart one. It was an "executive" decision, one which a chef needs to make.

Compare that to stefan's dissing of the tomato sorbet, which the judges loved. He's toast because of his know-it-all attitude.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I am beginning to love Stefan.  He is capable and and entertaining. He will call a douch-boy a douch-boy.  Hosea...a douch-boy.  Jamie keeps doing the same sort of thing.  She will be spoken to sternly soon. Ariane is an annoying ass and will soon actually have to design a dish on her own.... she's toast.  Jeff is inconsistent and will screw-up. Radika ...boring...the anti-Fabio.  Leah... probably a nitwit.  Gene...better than he's looked lately, I think.

I'm a Stefan fan as well - he talks the talk and walks the walk.

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Ariane is an annoying ass and will soon actually have to design a dish on her own.... she's toast. 

Didn't she design the tomato/watermelon/feta salad that won? And I know it's not a totally original dish, but it won. I don't think she'll win the contest overall, but her philosophy of preparing simple ingredients well is a smart one. And her insistence that the lamb be cooked for 2 more minutes, over the objections of her teammates, was a smart one. It was an "executive" decision, one which a chef needs to make.

Ariane's tomato/watermelon/feta consisted of slicing some ingredients that thousands of cooks have paired together before her. Twas bullshit. How did that possibly win??

I think Jamie is very talented, I hope she sticks around. I'm generally not as impressed by the contestants as I've been in seasons past.

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Ariane's tomato dish won because it was for a two-minute demo on live TV, the most mass-market program imaginable, and it worked, looked good and people at home might be inspired to make it just from those two minutes. Yeah, it's not a real creative dish, but the object is to win the challenges as they're presented.

It's not Jamie's fault she's been given so much camera time, but she's turned into a dour, spoiled little curmudgeon. So what if you don't win a challenge? At least you're not eliminated.

Edited by chappie (log)
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Ariane's tomato/watermelon/feta consisted of slicing some ingredients that thousands of cooks have paired together before her.  Twas bullshit.  How did that possibly win??

Because it was better than the dish that every single other chef prepared for this challenge.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Ariane's tomato dish won because it was for a two-minute demo on live TV, the most mass-market program imaginable, and it worked, looked good and people at home might be inspired to make it just from those two minutes. Yeah, it's not a real creative dish, but the object is to win the challenges as they're presented.

It's not Jamie's fault she's been given so much camera time, but she's turned into a dour, spoiled little curmudgeon. So what if you don't win a challenge? At least you're not eliminated.

she seems to do a lot of "cream" stuff.

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Ariane's tomato dish won because it was for a two-minute demo on live TV, the most mass-market program imaginable, and it worked, looked good and people at home might be inspired to make it just from those two minutes.

And her lamb won because she was experienced enough to known how long it needed to be cooked.

I don't think she has the flash to make the finish line, but it goes to show how many people mess up because they're young and inexperienced. Certainly some kids learn quickly, but Ariane is proving the value of experience. The kids could learn something from her.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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And her lamb won because she was experienced enough to known how long it needed to be cooked.

I don't think she has the flash to make the finish line, but it goes to show how many people mess up because they're young and inexperienced. Certainly some kids learn quickly, but Ariane is proving the value of experience. The kids could learn something from her.

We're still at the part of the season where all you have to do to stay in is to not screw up: slow and steady will get you pretty far right now, and taking risks in not really rewarded. There are enough remaining contestants right now that you can be relatively certain that someone is going to make something that is downright bad. Ariane has enough experience under her belt to get her through this part of the season, but I too question whether she has the chops to make it to the finale.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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